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Organize Your Life: 10 Tips For Making School Mornings Run Smoothly

Aug 12 2014 - 3:11pm

Welcome to our guide to Back-to-School Success [1]: 31 days of tips, apps, recipes, and more to help you make this your family's best school year yet. Today, day two includes everything you need to make your school day mornings run more smoothly.

From the moment the alarm goes off each morning (if you're lucky enough to wake up to an alarm rather than an early riser), the rush is on! Getting everyone washed, dressed, fed, and packed can seem like a sprint as you race against the clock to make it to school on time. Add to that some school permission forms that must be signed, a note for the teacher, and that sinking suspicion that there's nothing in the fridge for dinner that night, and the morning can be lost in a black hole.

Never fear, organized moms are here! We've scoured the web to find mamas who've got it under control, and they're sharing their tips (and products) to make your mornings run more smoothly. Keep reading for the best of what they've got to offer!

Source: Thinkstock [2]

Kids Message Center

Can't keep track of which child has soccer after school and which is staying late for enrichment? Utilize this fun chalkboard/corkboard message center [3] ($45) to keep both mom and the little ones well-informed before heading out for the day. Create one for each child, and you'll definitely be ready to take on the day!

Source: The Hummingbird Cafe [4]

School Money Labels

Sometimes it feels like mama's always handing money over to the teachers for something — a field trip here, a snack fund there — it never ends. If you often find yourself having to explain what you're handing over to the teachers, check out Believing Boldly's School Money Labels [5]. The free downloads feature check-off boxes so all mom has to do is place a few marks on the slips and then hand them over at the school drop-off.

Source: Believing Boldy [6]

Personalized Folders

With multiple kids, it's easy to mix up permission slips, exams that need your signature, and the like. Put these personalized folders [7] (starting at $15) from Pretty Printing to work getting all of those papers in order.

Source: Pretty Printing [8]

Robbygurl's Creations Menu Board

Mom can spend half her week just figuring out what's for dinner each night. Over on Robbygurl Creations [9], Robin created the ultimate menu planner, ensuring that there will be no standing in front of the refrigerator hemming and hawing before heading off to work in the morning! Download the menu files, and customize your family's own menu board, starting at $5.

Source: RobbyGurl's Creations [10]

Weekly Menu Board

If planning out your meals for the month sounds a bit intimidating, try Clair Dickson's weekly menu board [11]. She created it after culling the web for various options. Check out her step-by-step instructions and then get the kids in on the planning — they'll love having a hand in deciding what they'll eat.

Source: CG Dickson [12]

School Paperwork Storage

Feel like you are buried under a mound of paper? Once the kids start school it can feel like an avalanche with no signs of slowing down. One way to keep track of it all is by storing it. Over on I Heart Organzing [13], Jennifer Jones shares her School Paperwork Storage Solution [14], complete with free downloadable graphics.

She fills file boxes with hanging folders for each grade. The first item in each folder is a cover sheet that includes the tot's school picture for that year and other relevant information. She then fills it with schoolwork as the year goes on.

Source: I Heart Organizing [15]

Lunch Planning Calendar

In the haste of the morning rush, it's easy to get into a rut of giving the kids the same lunch each day. With this free printable Lunch Planning Calendar [16] from Hello Cuteness!, a few minutes of planning at the start of the month will allow mama to simply throw it together in the morning without much thought.

Source: Hello, Cuteness! [17]

School Lunch Organizing

If keeping a written calendar of monthly lunches isn't your thing, these school lunch trays may be better. Plenty of mamas have an extra fridge they use for their overflow. One mama uses hers to make lunch-making as smooth as butter. At the start of each week, she fills divided trays with the "extras" that will go into the kids' lunches — the fruit, chips, drink boxes, etc. Then each morning she makes a sandwich, grabs the presorted extras, and sends the kids on their way. Pretty ingenious if you ask me!

Source: Delightful Order [18]

A Morning Routine

Even the most laid-back mom knows that getting the little ones out the door in the morning can be a chore. As much as we'd like the tots to just get up and get moving, sometimes they need some motivation. This free printable morning routine chart [19] helps give kids the independence they crave, with the order mom needs for them to make it to school on time. Print it out, and see how much more smoothly your mornings run!

Source: I Heart Organizing [20]

Stickie Note Calendar

If you've got a constantly shifting schedule, this Stickie Note Calendar [21] may be just the thing to keep your family organized. Created by the editors at Martha Stewart Living, the calendar simply uses Post-it notes and washi tape, so it can be easily modified as plans change.

Source: Photo by Raymond Hom. Copyright 2012. Originally published in the January 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine [22]


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